By Lauren Rohr
Suburban Democrats are calling for the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report after receiving a summary of the investigation Sunday that clears President Donald Trump of collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.
Mueller’s probe did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, Attorney General William Barr said in a four-page letter to Congress. Though the report did not determine the president committed a crime, he said, it also did not exonerate him.
The uncertainty in Mueller’s findings makes it all the more important for Congress — and the public — to review the full report, subject to the redaction of any sensitive materials, said U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Schaumburg Democrat. If the documents are not released, he said, lawmakers would need to examine the possibility of subpoenaing the report and speaking with Mueller directly, “hopefully through a voluntary interview.”
“What are they holding back from us? Why are we not able to see the full report and the underlying documents?” said Krishnamoorthi, who sits on the House’s Intelligence and Oversight committees. “The American people paid for the report. They should be able to see it as soon as possible.”
U.S. Reps. Bill Foster of Naperville and Mike Quigley of Chicago echoed Krishnamoorthi’s sentiments in statements Sunday, saying the full report and underlying data should be made available with minimal redactions.
“A four-page summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s report isn’t going to cut it,” said Quigley, who also serves on the House Intelligence Committee. “Our ability to continue carrying out our ongoing oversight and counterintelligence investigations requires us to make our own determinations of the evidence, not rely solely on Barr’s conclusions.”
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood of Naperville agreed, saying, “We deserve more information and transparency than we have received.”
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Channahon, whose 16th District includes Boone and DeKalb counties and a portion of Will County, issued a statement over social media calling the report “good news” for our democracy and the integrity of our elections.
“No collusion, no coordination, no reason for Congressional Democrats to keep up this divisive and outrageous attempts to mislead Americans and discredit the President of the United States,” he said. “Now it’s time for us to move forward as a nation and return our focus to the important issues facing Americans today.”
According to Barr’s letter, Mueller did not find evidence that anyone associated with the Trump campaign knowingly conspired with the Russian government in efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. Krishnamoorthi said reviewing the full report will help the public understand what led Mueller to make that determination.
“I’m very much hoping that we can bring as much transparency to what has attracted intense public interest, and I hope that the attorney general cooperates with us in bringing this transparency as soon as possible,” Krishnamoorthi said.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said in a statement that Barr’s summary “creates more questions than it answers,” particularly regarding the concerns over whether Trump obstructed justice.
“The American people — who for two years have waited patiently for the Mueller investigation to conclude — deserve the full truth in Special Counsel Mueller’s own words,” he said.